Most dogs will fetch a toy, but Chaser the Border collie needs to know which one. He’s learnt the names for over 1000 different items.
Chaser has the largest vocabulary of any non-human animal. Over a three year period he learnt individual names for 1022 different items including 116 balls, 800 cloth animals, 26 'frisbees', and over 100 other assorted plastic items.
Owner John Pilley believes that generations spent paying close attention to shepherds has left its mental mark on Border collies like Chaser and is what makes them such highly motivated students.
This breed's incredible ability to stay focused and their impressive attention span are attributes that enabled Chaser to tirelessly attend literacy lessons for 4-5 hours a day for three years! Faced with Chaser's boundless enthusiasm it was the human researchers that eventually had to call a halt to the study Chaser never tired of learning.